I love that I get to work with my hands for long stretches at a time: It's physically challenging, meditative, and enjoyable. And it means I can listen to my headphones for hours on end! In case any of you are looking for music or podcasts to queue up for your holiday travels, I thought I'd share some of my recent favorites. (Note: Some of this is just new to me, not necessarily new to the world.)
What are you listening to these days? Leave your music and podcast recommendations for me in the comments!
"Working For It" by Zhu
This was my power song this fall! I listened to it on repeat in the shop and also while running a half-marathon last month (I attribute my sub-two-hour time to the combination of Zhu + caffeine). Favorite line: "She want it all / She want it all / She working hard for the money / She want it all." If you like this track, you might also like Automatic, As Crazy As It Is, and Zhu's sleeper hit from a couple years ago, Faded.
StartUp documents what goes on behind the scenes at a startup, in real time. The first season follows former This American Life and Planet Money producer Alex Blumberg as he attempts to start his own podcasting company (#meta). We get to hear his blundered pitch to a VC, a tense equity negotiation with a potential co-founder, and many late-night chats with his witty and thoughtful wife. I am obsessed with this podcast! I tore through both season (almost 20 hours) in less than a week, and actually ended up listening to the entire first season again. It's well-produced, thought-provoking, and insightful. I'd especially recommend it to anyone who's interested in business or entrepreneurship. Tune in on SoundCloud or iTunes. And definitely listen in chronological order, starting with the first episode of the first season:
One of my New Year's resolutions for 2016 is to consume less media produced by straight, white cismen. It's high time I make an effort to seek out women's voices, queer and trans voices, and voices of people of color. Listening to The Get has been a great way to kick off this project! The show is hosted by Ivy Onyeador and Rhiana Gunn-Wright, two whip-smart, kickass women of color from my class at Yale. They take on pop culture, current events, and meaty social justice issues in a conversational manner that's hilarious, riveting, snarky, and joyful. I didn't actually know them when we were in school, but, thanks to their podcast, I feel like we're practically best friends. More importantly, I'm a better-informed, more thoughtful feminist because of them. Check out The Get on iTunes! Here's an episode I found especially engaging: The Cost of Being A Bo$$.
"One Time" by Marian Hill
I've probably listened to this sultry song a hundred times this fall. I don't know anything about Marian Hill's story or background, but her music is addictive and fresh and melodic. If you like this track, check out Lovit, Got It, and Lips.
If you listen to NPR, you're probably already familiar with this snappy economics podcast. They have so many good episodes, it was hard to just choose a few to highlight! There's the one about Super Business Girl, a feisty 12-year-old entrepreneur; there's the epic, multi-episode investigation of how t-shirts are produced in the global economy; and of course, there's the one where they scrutinize a monthly ISIS budget that was recently smuggled out of Syria. Catch more episodes on iTunes or on the NPR website.
"Masterpiece" by Jessie J
This is my shameless, pump-up, power anthem! Listen to this if you're feeling down about yourself and need a pep-talk.
Women of the Hour
In this podcast, Lena Dunham (creator of the HBO hit Girls) interviews all kinds of women on a variety of topics, including body, friendships, love, and work. Her brand of feminism has been criticized in the past for not being intersectional enough (i.e., not addressing the ways in which gender intersects with race, class, sexuality, etc.). But with Women of the Hour, I think she's doing an admirable job of listening, learning in a public way, and making an effort to understand -- and share! -- the stories of queer and trans women, women of different ages, and women of color. You can listen on iTunes or SoundCloud. Here's one of my favorite episodes:
"A+E" by Clean Bandit, feat. Kandaka Moore & Nikki Cislyn
I didn't really fall in love with Clean Bandit until my best friend Jasmin took me to see them play live. They're so good! Global dance beats, strong vocals, and real instruments (which is refreshing if you mostly listen to electronic music, like I do). Don't miss Come Over (feat. Stylo G), Real Love, and of course, their Top 40 hit, Rather Be.
"Talk is Cheap" by Chet Faker
I'm pretty much always in the mood for Chet Faker. His music is melodic, soulful, and mellow. Side note: If you need a good Pandora station for a dinner party, you can't go wrong with Chet Faker! Don't miss Gold, Drop the Game, I'm Into You, and his stellar cover of No Diggity.
This American Life
I know I'm super late to this party, but I finally discovered how amazing This American Life is. If you've been living under a rock like I have, each episode explores several personal narratives that center around one theme. The stories are riveting, important, charming, and occasionally heartbreaking. The best part is that they have a mobile app that has twenty-five years' worth of archived episodes! Goldmine! I think I averaged about seven episodes per day during my peak welding days this fall. (They also have old episodes on their website.) Here's a powerful episode about haters on the internet:
Anything by Akon
This is not a joke. I love Akon. Not exactly a feminist hero, but you can't deny that he makes catchy music! Including a Bollywood song! In which he sings in Hindi! Did you know that?! I almost died when I first heard Chammak Challo. I also love Keep Up, Beautiful, and Right Now (Na Na Na).
If you've made it this far down my list, then here's a little Easter egg for you. It's a silly little tribute to Akon that I made after welding, grinding, and sanding 26 Geo Bowls in one week. Cheers!